Let’s dive into 5 fun ways to make your Monday morning less dreadful.
1. Remind yourself “this is not my forever.”
When one of my administrators told me, “I hope you’ll stay with us for 30 years,” I wanted to start bawling and crawl into the fetal position! Feeling like you have to stay in a position until you retire can feel huge, immovable and impossible. But reminding yourself, “This is just my ‘right now’” can relieve so much of that pressure - your circumstance can and will change.
2. Reduce Contaminated Time
Brigid Schulte, author of the book Overwhelm, talks about the concept of “contaminated time,” from psychology. Contaminated time is when we are doing one thing but thinking of something else (or six other things).
Contaminated time is when you’re at work but stressing over whether you took diapers to daycare, or worrying about what you’ll make for dinner that night, or freaking out about your kid’s [insert thing you’re worried about for your kids today]. Contaminated time is when you’re home with your family but you’re worried about a patient or a situation with a colleague.
Contaminated time is extremely stressful. So when you find yourself engaging in it, repeat to yourself: “I’m just going to be here.” Just be with this patient in this moment. Just complete this chart. Just be with your child in this moment.
3. Find someone to be your accountability shoulder.
This is a trusted friend, colleague or coach who is going to support you as you move to making changes in your life (changes that will reduce and eventually eliminate your Sunday dread!). This person is a combination of a shoulder to cry on when you’re tired or discouraged, and also an accountability partner who is going to push you to do hard things.
This person will pick you up when you’re down; they’ll cry with you; and they’ll also check in on your progress in a supportive, encouraging way.
As doctors, we’re taught to be very stoic and private with our emotions. It is key that you have an accountability shoulder (preferably, outside of your spouse) who can support you in your journey. I can certainly be that person for you!
4. Set boundaries to keep good things in.
We often talk about setting boundaries to keep things that we don’t want out. We need to remember that boundaries also keep good things in (like a fence for your dog … or your toddler!).
Setting boundaries with your time allows you to keep the good things in your life that you love. If you’re asked to be on yet another committee at work, remember that you’re setting a boundary (perhaps, ‘no more commitments’) so that you can keep the good things in your life in place.
If the room mom for your son’s class asks you to bring cookies, offer to give her a check to cover dessert. And don’t feel guilty!
5. Put your action steps into practice.
If you haven’t read the previous post, "Beating Sunday Dread: Finding More Joy in Your Current Situation", go check it out! I walk you through a process for identifying the source of your dread and addressing it at the root cause. Once you do that, you’ll generate some action steps that are guaranteed to reduce your dread. Go to it!
If you’re stuck in the Sunday dreads, I want to help! I’m offering a colleague to colleague call specifically on the topic of Sunday dreads. Sign up HERE